Opening Act: Unexpected Journey

Reid Epstein has a good, comprehensive read on the Rice situation, which really was a matter of theater overwhelming reality. She could have been confirmed – she needed only five Republican votes if some of them filibustered – but the White House didn’t want the distraction. Now, does anyone think Republicans will respond by agreeing not to fight on anything else?

Evan McMorris-Santoro wonders why the high-profile fracas at the Michigan rally against right to work hasn’t resulted in any appeals to the police.

Stu Rothenberg reveals which candidates came off as schmucks behind the scenes.

Steve Dennis reports on the next debt limit war, which sounds exactly like the last one, down to the Republican quotes.

Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., brushed off the consequences of hitting the debt ceiling. “Is a temporary disruption worse than a full-blown debt crisis?” he asked. Toomey said Republicans should demand cuts in return for a debt increase and should be prepared to deal with the fallout. Toomey, a former Club for Growth president, said Obama could prioritize which government obligations to meet, thus preventing a default on interest on the debt.

Bobby Jindal wants birth control sold over the counter, which… well, it’s an issue, but it’s not quite the one that conservatives revolted over (and liberals exploited) in 2012.

Peter Suderman reviews The Hobbit, and adds to the pile of disappointment.